How We're Tackling the Challenge

We focus on four key areas in our climate efforts:

Coal

New Mexico is home to two of the dirtiest and most polluting coal plants in the country. Thanks in part to intervention by the Sierra Club, both Four Corners Power Plant and San Juan Generating Station have retired or plan to retire several units. The Rio Grande Chapter and Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign work for the total transition from dangerous and dirty coal to renewable energy to make a better future for our children.

Laws and rules our members helped enact have increased renewable energy in New Mexico, but we have a long way to go.

Energy Policy

Our chapter works to transition from oil, gas, uranium and coal to clean, renewable energy. In the Legislature, chapter staff and volunteers successfully lobbied for the law that requires utilities to reach 20 percent renewable energy by 2020. In 2015, hundreds of Rio Grande Chapter supporters contacted their state representatives and senators in a successful campaign to stop an attempt to gut the law.

The Rio Grande Chapter also advocates at the Public Regulation Commission, which holds incredible power over our state's energy policy. We’ve helped enact strong net­-metering rules (which guide how utilities pay customers with solar at their business or residence), successfully lobbied for rules to increase the amount of solar energy that utilities are required to provide under the Renewable Energy Act, and protected those rules from being undermined by hostile forces.

Sierra Club's Dirty Fuels campaign in New Mexico is led by Robert Tohe, who works to protect tribal communities in Northwest and western New Mexico from the hazards of uranium mining and fracking.

Oil & Gas

The Rio Grande Chapter is working to reduce the environmental and community impacts of oil and gas extraction.  We are working to stop Trump rollbacks of Federal Methane Waste and Pollution Rules.  We are working to protect the Greater Chaco landscape from fracking.  And we are working to see oil and gas legislation, rules and regulations pass that protect our air, water and communities.

See our separate pages on our methane pollution problem, fracking near Chaco Canyon, and the Sandoval County Oil & Gas Ordinance.

Renewable Energy

The Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter and our supporters successfully worked for a New Mexico law requiring our largest utilities to provide 20% of their electricity from renewable energy by 2020. We monitor and advocate at the Legislature and the Public Regulation Commission to keep our Renewable Energy Act and the rules that enforce intact and strong. Thanks to thousands of supporters contacting their elected representatives, we’ve fended off several attacks that would have severely curtailed renewable energy in New Mexico. We also advocate and work with local governments to develop pro-­renewables policy like community solar. It’s time to strengthen our renewable-­energy laws, policy and infrastructure to the levels needed to provide a safe climate for future generations.

Sierra Club's NM Northern Group Executive Committee member Sandrine Gaillard has developed a website to help homeowners decide if going solar makes sense for them, learn about the process and what's involved with going solar. Visit GoSolarNowNM.info to read the details, and feel free to contact her at sandrine.sierraclub@gmail.com with your comments and questions.

How You Can Take Action on Climate Change

Join our Climate Action Team

The team meets monthly and comes up with great ideas and actions to increase renewable energy at the local and state level. Contact Camilla Feibelman for more information and to join the team at camilla.feibelman@sierraclub.org


Visit our Act on the Issues Page here to find out about how you can act on urgent and other environmental issues.

Climate change news

US moves back, NM forward on methane

US moves back, NM forward on methane
The public has until November 25 to submit comments about rollbacks that eliminate the direct regulation of methane. In New Mexico, this would mean that 4,700 new and existing oil and gas wells would no longer have to reduce their ... Read More

NM to adopt clean-car rules

NM to adopt clean-car rules
In September 2019, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that New Mexico will join 14 other states in adopting clean-car standards requiring new cars sold here to emit fewer greenhouse gases ... Read More

Albuquerque goes electric

Albuquerque goes electric
On a warm September morning, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller drove a shiny new blue Chevy Bolt into Civic Plaza, accompanied by five Global Warming Express members ... Read More

PRC puts coal-to-clean path in doubt

PRC puts coal-to-clean path in doubt
Unexpected obstacles could derail implementation of New Mexico’s landmark clean-energy law, relief funds for coal workers and even the amount of renewable replacement in the retirement of coal-fired San Juan Generating Station.  ... Read More
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